Never mind that the other 364 days of the year we're driving our SUV around town, alone and comfy in our captain's chair.
Or that we still leave the water running while we wash our hands with antibacterial soap.
Or that our salmon are now in as much trouble as our tuna.
I put honey in my tea today and was confronted by two unwelcome thoughts:
Across the street, the neighbor's sprinklers spray well beyond the curbside planting strip, flooding the gutter and soaking the cars parked there. Then the gardener fires up his gas-powered leaf blower, creating great clouds of dust and grass clippings and pollen that immediately adhere to the wet cars. I am not making this up.
It seems to me that we, as a society, have gone mad. We are pathological, behaving in ways that clearly harm others, if not directly ourselves. We are compulsive, unable or unwilling to modify our behaviors even when it's made clear that they are destructive. And we are delusional, somehow believing — despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — that our actions either don't have consequences or will be mitigated by someone else.
It's been about two years since Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth made us all wince just a little bit. And yet the troubles have been on people's lips for more than 15 years — I caught Batman Returns on TV over the weekend, and even in 1992 the Penguin referenced "global warming." I understand that sometimes Hollywood can seem out of touch, but major studio releases don't make their money referencing arcane phenomena advanced only by the intelligentsia.
I was going to write today about a few things we all can do to help our planet, our neighbors, our children. Little things, things you might actually do, like converting your lawn to low-water plantings, not like converting your SUV to biodiesel. But honestly, we've known we're in trouble for, let's conservatively say, a decade. What have you changed in that time? Have you converted your lawn to low-water plantings? Have you stopped buying products whose manufacture kills the environment? Do you recycle and/or compost most, if not all, of your waste?
If you have, great. I applaud you. Tell us all about it, if for no other reason than to help us sustain our delusion that someone somewhere is fixing the problem we're creating. But when my clients still demand lawns that no child will ever play on… when "my" contractors still install spray irrigation because drip is too difficult… when I myself still drive my SUV around town, solo… I think perhaps the problem is outpacing the fix.
So, seriously: what are we going to do about it?